New chicks comeing soon need advice

JULIE L CORWIN

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
66
10
46
WE are building a new coop for 16 chickens. Giving each chicken 6 feet of floor space.My plan is to try to free range them. This will be a new thing for me. So I have several questions of course So here goes. How long do I need to keep them in the coop once they are out of the brooder. I've usually keep the in the coop for a week to help them get use to the coop. Do they need to be in the coop longer than that? If I want to free range them. Do I need a run?. I know the 10 ft rule per chicken in the run. Since the coop is large enough for the chickens. Can the run be smaller? How big a feeder and waterer be for the chickens. I was planning on getting a 5 gallon feeder and waterer. That way they can not knock the feeder over. I have a 3 gallon feeder now and 4 year old chickens. The current feeder gets knocked over by the 4 year old chickens. I have just recently started to free rang the 4 year old chickens and they love it!
Would the new chickens run away if no run?. Would the old chickens attack the new chickens? Or should I get rid of the old chickens before getting new chickens?
I'm getting the new chickens from Meyer hatchery in Polk Ohio. The say they have a 90 percent rate of giving you the right sex of the chicken you want. I want all egg layers. Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. They say that a male RIR male can be aggressive. How can you tell if you get a male chicken?. I know this is long and I'm sorry. Thank you for your time.
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,996
74,919
1,307
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
A week is fine.If you free range your run dosent have to be big but you do have to let them range. Your feeder is fine only get a bigger one if you want to. Your chickens won't run away .Your older chickens will establish a pecking order its normal but will be uncomfortable to watch. You know if you've got a roo by comb, attitude, size growth of sickle feathers and if he starts asking for shaving advice.
 
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KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Okay, lots of answers coming your way:

How long do I need to keep them in the coop once they are out of the brooder - One week or so.
Do they need to be in the coop longer than that? Maybe start with them in the coop, an hour or so at a time free ranging to see how they do, then build up gradually.
Do I need a run? Not necessarily, especially if they free range everyday.
How big a feeder and waterer be for the chickens? A 5-gallon bucket will do well, I suggest horizontal watering nipples and a float valve (hooked to a hose) so you don't have to keep refilling. For feeder, I would suggest a big rubbermaid tote (like for storing stuff in the garage) and using 3" pvc elbows to create a no-fuss, no-mess feeder that only needs to be filled every week or so.
Would the new chickens run away if no run? Again, gradually introduce them to it, but they should stay around the coop until they get adventurous.
Would the old chickens attack the new chickens? Yes, there will be an introduction period. Start with them separated for a few weeks, where they can see each other and if possible share a wall. This will get them used to each other for about 2 weeks or so. Then when you want to merge them, I suggest doing it in the yard first (lots of room, less need to fight over supplies), then allowing them to establish pecking order.
How can you tell if you get a male chicken? You can usually sex them around 5 weeks old by their wing feathers and combs/wattles (males are more developed at this age, typically).

WHEW!!!
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Yep, as long as they know where home is (shelter, food, water, roosts), they should be fine. I free range mine and find them lots of time in the woods next to my house scratching away. If I try to count them when they're out, it's impossible. But they all come home each night, safe and accounted for.
 

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